Casting A Wider Net

There’s an idiom—cast one’s net wide—that conveys the advice to try many different things so that you will have the best chance of finding the best solution to a dilemma. It is based on fishing, but applies to anything from personal desires (like, finding a suitable romantic partner) to business (eg: companies finding the right employees).

Check out my Instagram post about casting your net

The whole idea is to cover as much ground as, as many aspects as, as many bases as you can. You want to see as many POVs as possible so that you can find the best from a larger pool of possibilities. Additionally, if you’re going for quantity, you will be able to “catch” more by initiating methods designed to pull more in.

For a long time, I lived in a pretty small net. Naturally, as time went on, my net grew both physically and mentally. I grew up in a small-ish city in a family with pretty constrained religious beliefs. Then, I left for college which expanded my physical and mental boundaries. Then, I travelled and went even further from home and began to question and study and expand my understanding of life…

I met more, incredibly unique people.

I looked at how people live, what they thought, what they believed, and how it influenced them.

I wanted to know my fellow citizens, humans better. I wanted to make friends. I wanted to understand myself & my place in this life better. All of those were possible when I cast a wider net.

As a kid, I learned the story in the Bible where Jesus tells his soon-to-be-apostles that, if they left their boats and came with him, he would make them fishers of me. Like with fishing, he was saying they would use patience, willingness to invest time, and a singular goal. It takes endurance & the ability to weather bad time to fight for your goal.

Their goal was to reach people with the Gospel & convert them. Other times, it’s reaching them with a product or service.

Increasing market share is one of the most important objectives of business, as it is a measure of performance & speaks to growth/revenue. It requires casting a net to capture customers.

Whether you’re making friends, fishing, or running a business, the net you cast can make all the difference. And there are 6 creative ways to get better results:

1. Be willing to get out of your comfort zone.

You’ve heard the old adage: I’d you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

If a company is having trouble expanding its customer base, it may be inadvertently narrowing focus and, with that, missing the mark with potential new customers.

Similarly, people can become narrow-minded. Our brains want us to stay with what’s familiar, but our minds can help us do better.

Go against the grain and defy expectations… even if those are your own. Remembering to keep an open mind, not to judge or dismiss too quickly, and to recognize when you’re playing it “safe” will help you entertain a wider net of possibilities.

2. Examine your existing network.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change… and the same can be said for people.

We form relationships with people, then we kinda fall into that pattern.

But, life changes.

People change.

Life is multifaceted.

So are people.

So, take a lesson from #1: step outside your comfort zone. Open up, which = making yourself vulnerable… and that’s not always easy to do.

BUT! Showing a different side of yourself can help others expose facets of their personality or experience that may not have factored into your relationship or understanding of life from their perspective.

Leverage what you already have.

3. Build a “relationship map”

Building a “relationship map” will show strengths and weaknesses in your connections/relationships. The map will help direct your focus to what you have already, as well as show you where you can grow.

In a business setting, you might use something like this:

This same can be done for personal relationships. If you’re seeking a romantic partner, a new friend, a mentor… whatever the case may be, by examining the types of relationships in your life, you can see where you can strengthen some and build others through them.

You might even see that you could stand to add a new aspect to open up new possibilities.

4. Look for ways to grow.

When I was in college at Baylor University, we were required to take certain classes on religion. While forced courses was a bummer, I was glad to have gotten the chance to learn more about other belief systems.

While BU’s classes were centered around Christianity’s many spinoffs, that collegiate step outside my Church of Christ upbringing inspired me to read works from other religions and look into the human aspect driving everything. It’s why I find government/politics so fascinating.

Gaining more perspective is valuable. Expanding, whether that’s with knowledge or new friends, allows us to grow.

5. Share your experience.

You have plenty of expertise at being you. So, tell your story. Get involved. Put yourself into the mix.

6. Create activity.

When people want to swim with sharks, what do they do?

Chum the water.

Businesses use marketing tools that they term a “call to action.” You’ll see them in Sign up for… or Visit the link… & other things that clearly states how clients can work with them.

The same approach can be used in your personal life.

Give people ways to interact with you. Ask folks their opinions, suggest that they tag you in posts they think you’ll like, or anything else that will keep you in their thoughts and stimulate dialogue.

The goal is simple: increase engagement.

I’m curious about the ways you’ve cast a wider net, and am always glad to brainstorm new ideas.

Hit me up & let’s chat.